"Leipzig’s Social Hypertext Reader SHRIMP and the “Introduction to American Studies”."
This article describes the ideas behind and the experiences with the experimental e-learning platform SHRIMP. Developed and deployed at American Studies Leipzig, the platform is used for the introductory Literature and Culture I seminar in the American Studies Bachelor of Arts program, and it serves as the main medium of instruction for around 80 students per year. It breaks up the linear form of the original seminar reader and instead offers students a hypertext of interconnected, short segments, enriched with social media and gamification elements, as well as a learning analytics component that invites students to take control of their own study and learning experience. It is driven by a dual assumption about digitization: that the digital age changes how students interact with text, and that digital textuality offers rich affordances beyond linear reading. Both can be harnessed to improve learning outcomes.